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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Altogether Sinful

From Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate by Jerry Bridges, page 29-30.

I referred earlier to the Puritan Ralph Venning's book The Sinfulness of Sin. The title sounds somewhat like a tautology, a needless repetition. But in his title, Venning was trying to make a point, and here is his point in his own words: "On the contrary, as God is holy, all holy, only holy, altogether holy, and always holy, so sin is sinful, all sinful, only sinful, altogether sinful, and always sinful." It does not matter whether our sin is scandalous or respectable, all our sin is sinful, only sinful, and altogether sinful. Whether it is large or small in our eyes, it is heinous in the sight of God. God forgives our sin because of the shed blood of Christ, but He does not tolerate it. Instead, every sin that we commit, every subtle sin that we don't even think about, was laid upon Christ. He bore the curse of God in our place. And herein lies chiefly the malignancy of sin. Christ suffered because of our sins.

That, then, is the bad news about our sin, and, as you can see, it is really, really bad. How do you respond? Will you deflect it onto other people whom you see to be sinners?...Or does this view of our sin cause you to want to fall on your knees before God in repentance and contrition over the sins you have tolerated in your life?

Jean says:

I believe You are most holy, God. All holy. Always holy. Only holy. Altogether holy.

But I've never thought about sin being all sinful. Always sinful. Only sinful. Altogether sinful. Even those little bitty sins like telling half-truths [Is there really such a thing?] or keeping silent when I need to speak up. I mean, those little sins are so...little, right? Well, that's what I used to think, anyway.

Then I began studying Your holiness. I read what biblical scholars said about Your holiness. I read what the Old Testament prophets said about Your holiness. And one morning, sitting with my Bible open I caught a glimpse of Your Holiness. The eyes of my heart blinked in the brilliance of Your Holy Radiance.

And at that moment, in the spotlight of Your Holiness I saw my own filthiness. My own sinfulness. I saw how pathetically wretched I am in my best moments. I saw the putrid filth of my soul in the light of Your Perfection. And for the first time in my life I grieved, really grieved over my own pathetic sinful nature.

God says:

It isn't a pretty sight, is it Little One? When your heart sees, truly sees, the depravity of the human soul. It goes beyond disgusting, filthy, putrid.

But, when you are grieving that depraved nature turn your eyes toward Calvary, Little One. There is your hope for eternity. My beautiful, holy Son, Jesus, bore all that rotten filth in His beautiful body on that heinous tree.

He was condemned that you might be pardoned.

He was tormented that you might live in freedom.

He paid the price to eradicate all of that horrible, disgusting guilt from your eternal soul.

That's unimaginable love, wouldn't you agree?